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Deputy Premier defends fiery ABC interview attacking climate change ‘lefties’

The Deputy Premier is defending a heated interview where he said anyone using the bushfire emergency to talk about climate change is a “bloody disgrace”.

John Barilaro ended an interview with ABC North Coast early after host Fiona Poole began questioning him on climate change and budget cuts.

The state Nationals leader wasn’t having a bar of it, attacking the “bloody greenies” and “lefties” who he says are playing politics while people are dying.

“I’m not going to cop it and if that’s going to be the rest of this interview, well you’ve lost me for the morning.”

Mr Barilaro is defending the interview, telling Ray Hadley his job right now is to spread safety messages to communities at risk, not answer questions about climate change.

“Maybe some say I should have kept my cool but we’ve got a thousand firefighters right now, across 40 uncontained fires in this state, risking their own lives.

“And these lefties want to talk about climate change and have a climate change debate. Seriously?

“I just couldn’t cop it and we had to end that interview because I’m here to make sure communities are hearing the warnings, heeding the advice from our experts… and yet these idiots want to talk about bloody climate change.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Deputy Premier Barilaro went even further, saying the Greenies are actually the ones to blame for the intensity of the fires.

“While we lock up national parks and allow that fuel load to grow, why are we surprised when these fires hit they are at the intensity they are at,” says Mr Barilaro.

“We’ve signed up to the Paris Agreement, we’re going to reach our target, we’re doing our bit for the globe, so let’s just stop the rubbish debate and get on with the reality here and that is not allowing the Greens to stop us getting on with hazard reduction.

“And that will be seen as the biggest part of the problem of these fires.”


Image: Getty/Mark Kolbe